Article

The best time to visit Kenya

by Martha Hales

published

The attractions in Kenya are many and varied. From lazy days on balmy beaches to safari encounters and cultural discoveries, your trip will be full of opportunities for adventure and enjoyment. The best time to go depends to a certain extent on what you plan to do and see, so here’s our rundown of what to expect at different times of year.

A group of Maasai tribesmen in Kenya

Wildlife viewing is possible year-round in Kenya, but there are certain factors to consider before you decide when to visit. What is the weather like? How busy will it be? Are there any major events that might affect my plans? Most travellers who have set their sights on Kenya are hoping to strike that balance between pleasant weather, prolific game which is active and easy to spot, and low footfall in the parks and reserves.

A baby elephant wanders through the tall grass in the Shimba Hills, Kenya

June to October

Let’s start with average temperatures, which hover pleasantly in the high twenties much of the year, varying slightly depending on location and altitude. During the dry season months of June to October cooler weather prevails - though ‘cool’ in Kenya is relative, and still means mid-twenties during the day. The dry season warmth is manageable, skies are usually clear and humidity is low making conditions ideal for most holiday activities. Bear in mind that it can get pretty fresh at night during these months, so pack accordingly.

A hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara in Kenya

November and December

The end of the dry season is marked by the arrival of the short rains which occur through November and December, bringing higher temperatures and increasing humidity, however moderate rainfall shouldn’t interrupt your safari too drastically apart from the northernmost regions where some camps are closed. In fact it can be an excellent time to visit for good value, varied choice of accommodation and lower visitor numbers in the parks and reserves.

Two lionesses prowl through the Samburu Reserve in Kenya during November

January and February

January and February are hot. Though there are showers, these months are generally dry and the parks are busy again. Spending time at the beach is popular during this ‘short dry season’, due to the high temperatures and the best underwater visibility along Kenya’s coast.

Diani Beach is situated 30 km south of Mombasa in Kenya

March to May

March is a month of transition towards the wet season, but can still be a good time to visit if value is a priority. The remaining months of April and May are characterised by heavy rains which close down many safari camps and make transport tricky, and although wildlife viewing is still possible it is not the easiest period to travel widely in Kenya.

Rain clouds gather over the Nukuru Crater in Kenya

When to see Kenya's wildlife

Wildlife wise, Kenya’s most renowned spectacle is the Great Migration involving many thousands of plains game who reach the Masai Mara around July and return to Tanzania in October. Precisely what you might see at different times of year varies depending on which parks you visit - January and February are the months in which every park has something to offer, coinciding with the breeding season for many species, so you may well catch sight of some newborn mammals and the predators they attract.

Wildebeest crossing the Mara River as part of the great migration

Make it happen

Kenya is calling. Give in to the temptation and make this the year that your dream trip becomes reality. Contact our handpicked local partners to find out how they can tailor-make your holiday to Kenya so it’s perfect for you. To speak to someone in the TravelLocal office please call +44 (0)117 325 7898.

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